Pattaya officials have decided the best way to solve the city’s chronic flooding problem is to cut off the water at the source.
Reviewing the final draft of flood-control “master plan” prepared by King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok, Pattaya Permanent Secretary Pakorn Sukhonthachat said researchers from the college’s Center for Water Engineering and Infrastructure Research have concluded that the first step in their nine-year, 10 billion baht plan has to be the diversion of storm runoff from higher ground in Nongprue, Nong Plalai, and Nong Krabok.
“We have to start the construction of an efficient water-drainage system at the railroad because of the amount of water that comes from other areas,” Pakorn said.
“We have decided to divert the water along the entire railroad to other areas, preventing water from entering the city,” Pakorn said, adding plans also call for construction of a reservoir to collect runoff before it is pumped into drainage canals that empty into the sea.
The secretary said he’d suggest that Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome approve the purchase of land to dig the reservoir and expand existing reservoirs around the railroad tracks and install water pumps to funnel storm runoff to the Suaphaew and Huay Yai canals.
The draft master plan - which came together in just a month - is aimed at developing a water-drainage and flood-management plan to solve perennial flooding in the Soi Buakaow, Soi Phettrakul, Pacific Village, Soi Bongkot, Soi Wat Thamsamakkee and Thepprasit Villa neighborhoods.
The solution researchers came up with is neither cheap or quick: Split into three phases, the project is expected to cost 10.2 billion baht and take at least nine years to complete.
In addition to the railroad-area work, the plan calls for a 7.79 billion baht water-drainage system anchored by pumping stations in nine areas of the city. The third phase would be the construction of a dam behind Ekamongkol Village at Soi Khao Talo 7 and 7/1 at a total cost of 1.97 billion baht.